Concrete: An Abstraction on the Bed
Lately as I consider voice, a writer’s voice, I wonder how it is for you. If we all have one, I wonder about other things, other things that most of us have. Like your bed, for example. If voice is cadence and music and space, how you write out the matter in your life and the meaning it gives, what about your bed? It’s certainly different than mine. So how is it for you?
We’ve had the same bed, king-size, since the day we came home from our honeymoon. I leave it unmade mostly, shut the door, and sit on the side of it to eat my chocolate in the dark. I bring my books there to help me sleep or bounce the baby there in tall squealing leaps when I can’t hold him anymore. I’ve leaned into it in pain, in submitted labor, where my water has broken twice. I’ve leaned into 13 years there with my husband, the babies made then suckled.
To-do lists manifest there until I unhinge nestled in the deep divot for my body, a pillow’s space and miles of dreams to the other side. My bed is portal, my knees work like rubber bands, we share a lake, I’m in front of class without a stitch of clothes, I’m calling and you can’t hear me, and then whoosh I’m awake fully present to my baby when his feeding pump beeps. I fiddle with the tubing and reset. I lay there many hours feeling exactly 33 years old, awake.
Start with the concrete, the bed, the topper, the ink stain on the sheet, the stories in that quilt (whose hands there), and those meaningless throw pillows. The material things right in front of our faces are the tools we use to speak of spirit, of ghosts, of things we can’t grip with our hands – like love and anger and the weight of consequence.